In the early days, indigenous people often rely to Mother Nature’s produce as food, materials for shelter, clothing and even medicine. Among these produce are insects, which the elders claim are effective as painkillers and can even cure certain diseases. Modern medicine has begun to master and apply the ancients’ tradition by testing these timeless remedies and generally proving their value. Prominent biochemists and pharmacists are now confirming that insects are valuable as powerful stimulants, pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. So before you say “eeww” and grab your phone to call pest control, here are 3 creepy crawlies that show promise as treatments and medicine for mankind:
The old fashioned lemon-water detoxification ritual has finally found its rival. Fans of this cleansing method may want to consider getting herbal preparations with powdered centipede to remove toxins and free radicals from their body. Traditional Asian practitioners have associated centipede remedies with kidney and liver functions and modern laboratories have confirmed their theories if formulated properly, centipede supplements appear to stimulate healthy functions in the patient’s kidneys and liver. However, pregnant and breast-feeding women won’t be able to use centipede supplements because centipedes secrete powerful toxins that can have negative side effects on the baby and on the woman’s body.
If the America has Tylenol, then Asians have silkworm extracts. Asian healers use these extracts to treat a variety of conditions like flatulence and even seizure. They often mix silkworm extracts with ginseng, Ma Huang, and saw palmetto for male potency. Science suggests that silkworm extracts may have benefits as dietary supplements for patients who are diagnosed with heart diseases and circulatory disorders. Preliminary studies indicated that silkworm extracts are effective in reducing serum cholesterol and dissolve vascular plaque. Some optimistic pharmacists also speculate that silkworms may prove effective as the anti-cholesterol medication without the harmful side effects on the patient’s liver and kidneys.
It was in 1931 when maggots were properly studied as wound cleansers. Physician William Baer observed maggots in action during his service as a battle field surgeon in World War I and continued his limited studies with selected patients when the war finished. In a compelling clinical trial, Baer introduced maggots in 21 patients’ open wounds and observed the “rapid debridement”, which is medical language for removal of dead tissue. He documented the maggot’s efficient removal of pathogens from the patients’ wounds. In two months, all 21 patients were completely healed and released from the hospital.
Since then, maggot therapy became standard clinical practice in American hospitals until the development of penicillin and other antibiotics ended the widespread use of surgical maggots. However in 1989, Ronald Sherman, a physician from University of California, reintroduced maggot therapy for use on patients whose wounds did not respond to antibiotics. He also did the same to victims of flesh-eating bacteria. Sherman’s results were as spectacular as Baer’s first experiments. Since then, maggot therapy became a standard therapy for staph infections and serious burns.